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They Might Be Giants

The SF Giants Prospect Round-Up: A Scary Moment We’re Too Familiar With

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Gregory Santos has a scary moment, and Heliot Ramos is doing well to end the season.

Prospect Roundup Cover Image Kevin J. Cunningham

A Scary Encounter For Santos

You don’t need me to tell you how scary this is. Santos stayed on the ground and was eventually removed from the field by stretcher.

Later news was somewhat positive…

Borg indicated that while Santos will remain in 7-Day Concussion Protocol, he will rejoin his teammates in a couple of days. Of course, Borg did not want to speculate on whether Borg would pitch again this season, and that makes sense. After all, the day after Santos’ injury, this news happened:

Concussions are notoriously difficult to recover from, and symptoms can occur for months after the incident. There is no point in trying to predict when Santos will return to pitching, recover from this injury or anything. It’s just a matter of seeing how he does. And with the team likely to be very careful, it’ll be a long wait for the fans to see anything.

Back in 2012, Chris Stratton was hit in the head by a line drive in batting practice for the Volcanoes, only a couple of months after he was drafted. Stratton’s minor league career was notably full of highs and lows after that. Whether that was because of lingering effects of a concussion or just the normal development of a top draft pick is impossible to determine, and especially because teams have gotten more sensitive about them in the years since then.

However, hopefully the recovery of Belt from his concussion issues gives a positive spin on how recovery can go. Santos, like Stratton Belt, will get an offseason to recover. Hopefully, in 2019 (and beyond), we’ll see good things.

Jordan Johnson - A Danger To Fans Everywhere

That’s nice of him…but damn, that’s one wild long toss to get into the stands…

Diego Rincone - All-Star MVP

Missed this last week with the All-Star Game, but seriously, who follows “Bush’s Beans” on Twitter?

Diego Rincones picked up the All-Star Game Northwest Team MVP by leading his losing team in hits (4) and doubles (2). It was a high-scoring game, and the Volcanoes players were doing what they could to keep the NWL in the game, but it wasn’t to be.

Rincones is an interesting prospect this year. He’s one of the youngest players in the NWL, and yet at least this scouting report says he’s filled out physically. But he is putting together a heck of a season and is one of the best in the league in hitting. But is this another Miguel Gomez? Well, there’s still some development he could have, but how much?

Heliot Ramos’ Progress

That tweet came on Sunday morning, and the numbers has slowly continued to rise. He’s now batting .243/.313/.389 as he’s gone 2-for-8 with a walk, a double and a triple in the two games since that post.

Ramos has had a season of ups and downs, and slumped a bit in July. But in 9 games in August, he’s batting .314/.342/.600 and has more triples (Three) than doubles and home runs combined (One each). Still, that’s just a third of a month, but the Giants are hungry for any breakout from one of their top prospects. A final month of momentum into 2019 would be acceptable for that.

Look, I’ll refer people back to my statements in a conversation with Roger that expectations should be tempered for the young prospect, who would end up at Augusta as a very young player without a lot of high-level competition, playing in the humid south for a full season for the first time. That he’s striking out a lot, not hitting for a lot of average, this isn’t a surprise.

I’ll even bust the old cliché, that says “Speed Doesn’t Slump.” It can, especially for a player who may not have gone through the best conditioning in the past in that first long season and doing it in Georgia. Ramos hasn’t attempted a steal yet this month, and just attempted three in July. I don’t blame him, or the team, taking it a little easy at the end of the season. Ramos doesn’t have great numbers for a speedy player, having stolen just 7 of 14 bases on the season, but again, there’s development. He stole just one of his first seven attempts in the first two months of the season. He stole six of seven attempts in June and July. In August, when he’s on first, it’s a good time to try and watch pitchers and start learning timing by watching. There’s time to run wild in the future.

Ramos won’t come out of 2018 as the team’s top prospect, and that’s okay. Part of that is Joey Bart was drafted with the #2 overall pick and is already more advanced and at another premium position. But Ramos is still a top prospect. The real season to judge will be next year…and it’ll be interesting to see if he’s in San Jose, or returning to Augusta.

In the meantime, please don’t end the season with a concussion. That’s a stupid trend. Stop it.

Best Pitcher Celebration Yet

This is Dusten Knight, last month against Reading, when he earned his first save.

But I’m sure someone will call this offensive to the game. Unless it’s Ozzie Smith doing it. But honestly, that’s impressive athleticism.

The Giants Get Some New Faces

With Jerry Sands having been released, the River Cats needed some depth at first base, and so they went with a minor league vet who had gone to the indy leagues this season.

Stassi has done well, in his first three games going 4-for-8 with two doubles for Sacramento.

Also, the Giants saw some of their international free agents make their debuts:

At this point, it’s a little late in the season for anyone to get a great look at what these two, recovering from Tommy John surgery, to be capable of, but it’s good to see these two working their way back from surgery.

SRP Park - Ballpark of the Year!

Back in May, I got a look at SRP Park, the new home of the Augusta GreenJackets (and the only new ballpark to debut this season), and I was fairly impressed. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one.

SRP Park now joins AT&T Park as a winner, as AT&T won back in 2000 when the award was first given out.

More On The D-Rod

Dereck Rodriguez was barely ever a Giants’ prospect, and he’s exhausted his prospect eligibility, but there’s been so little good news coming out of the farm system lately, let’s take a moment to talk about how much production the Giants have gotten from an unlikely acquisition: Minor League Free Agency.

Further Reading, Listening, and Watching

Let’s start with the top prospect, Joey Bart…

Truthfully, it’s a bit of fluff, but it’s nice fluff and the Giants could use something fluffy right now.

(Subscription Required) Both Aaron Bond and Camilo Doval got a write-up in the Monday Morning 10-Pack over on Baseball Prospectus.

Ian Gardeck is one of my favorite feel-good stories of the season. Joe Ritzo has a great interview with him for one of the past week’s pregame interviews.

If you’ve been reading PRU this season, then you know that I think Garcia is having an incredibly disappointing season, especially now that he’s relatively healthy. Well, 2080 baseball took a look at him. They see a backup catcher there, which isn’t a terrible role for a player, though for the draft pedigree it might be a bit disappointing. It could be worse, though.

That said, if Todd Hundley is facing a potential suspension, Garcia is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster, so his Major League debut may still happen this year.

Hey, two 2080 reports this week! The Giants seem to be crazy good at developing middle infielders who are slap hitters but without a lot of pop. Ryan Howard gets a similar report, with a ceiling as a regular at second base, and a floor as a utility infielder.

Finally, not Giants’ related, though a Giants tweeter shared it:

Very interesting read on a new way to handle pitchers. The Giants are developing a pattern of pursuing minor league relievers who don’t have a lot of mileage on their arm, so it seems to be race to who can develop a pitcher with the least throws.

Hitter of the Week - Heath Quinn

This was a close call between Quinn and Ramos, but Quinn gets the edge for having a more well-rounded week.

Quinn was 9-for-23 with two doubles and two home runs, and five walks against five strikeouts, good for a .391/.517/.739 batting line for the week, one of his better stints of the season.

Quinn is having a strong season at San Jose, and is riding a strong end of the season to carry into the hitting-unfriendly Eastern League in 2019 (and perhaps a cameo sooner). He’s batting .302/.388/.492 with 12 home runs and 20 doubles. In 295 at-bats, he has 78 strikeouts and 39 walks.

(Quick shoutout to Ramos, who was .400/.454/.800 on the week in 20 at-bats, with two walks against six strikeouts.

Pitcher of the Week - Conner Nurse

Nurse did not have a long start for the AZL Black squad, but it was certainly his best start of the season.

Going four innings, Nurse did not allow a run, striking out seven while giving up three hits and a walk. It’s only the second time this season that Nurse has not given up a run in an appearance, and his 2nd-highest strikeout total of the season.

The 19-year old Nurse has a 3.68 ERA in 10 appearances, with 46 strikeouts and 22 walks in 44 innings, with 42 hits allowed.

Saturday’s Lines

Sacramento Litter Box

  • Ryder Jones was 2-for-4 with two doubles, giving him 19 on the season. Jones is batting only .216 over his last ten games, even with this performance.
  • Ronnie Freeman picked up three hits, matching his season-high. He’s batting .393 over his last eight games, raising his average from .213 to .244.
  • Chris Stratton had another good start for Sacramento. The two strikeouts were his lowest total in four starts at the level, but it was his third straight start giving up just one earned run with at least six innings.
  • Hunter Strickland had his third start appearance with one inning and no baserunners, but two strikeouts.

Richmond Nuthouse

Game 1

Game 2

  • Ryan Howard was 3-for-7 with a double and triple between the doubleheader. He now has 28 doubles and three triples.
  • C.J. Hinojosa collected his 10th and 11th doubles with Richmond in Game 2, raising his average to .278. His career-high batting average was .296 in 48 games in his debut at Salem-Keizer in 2015.
  • Conner Menez struggled through the Game 1 start, staying in for four innings despite giving up five runs in the first inning. It’s he second time in the last three giving up seven runs in a start.
  • Taylor Hill led off Game 2, with five runs in four innings. Taylor had come out of the bullpen in each of his last two appearances after having been a starter most of the rest of the season.

San Jose Footprints

  • Sandro Fabian was 1-for-2 with his 9th home run of the year, and was also hit by a pitch. The home run puts Fabian two shy of his career high, set last year in 122 games in Augusta. Last night was his 98th game of this season
  • Gio Brusa was 2-for-5 with his team-leading 18th home run. That set a new season-high in his career, breaking the 17 he had in Augusta last season in 20 more games.
  • D.J. Myers had a solid start, giving up just one run in six innings. The innings matches a season-high for him, and in keeping with the theme, he set a new season-high for total innings at 78.2 IP, after throwing 78.1 in Augusta last season.
  • Franklin Van Gurp has now put together two solid outings at San Jose, after having given up 16 earned runs in an 11.2 IP stretch at San Jose. He had a 1.77 ERA in Augusta, but has a 6.95 ERA in San Jose.

Augusta Putt-putt Course

Augusta had a scheduled day off.

Salem-Keizer Crater

  • Dalton Combs led the Volcanoes in hitting with a 3-hit game, collecting his 5th double of the year. The 35th round pick from 2017 has splayed sparingly this season.
  • Leadoff man Kyle McPherson was 2-for-4 with his 3rd triple of the season. The game continued a 7-game hitting streak for him.
  • Greg Jacknewitz gave up a season-high nine hits and five runs in a difficult outing. HIs batting average allowed jumped from .282 to .299.

Arizona Black Adders

  • In a game with a lot of hits, Sean Roby led the Black squad with three, all singles. The 12th round pick has a .279/.357/.434 batting line on the season.
  • Abdiel Layer had the team’s only extra-base hit, his second home run of the season, in the middle of a 2-hit game.
  • Cody Brickhouse is batting .310/.437/.414 in sparing playing time, just 58 at-bats in 20 games. The 21-year old catcher was a 15th round draft pick in 2015.
  • Conner Nurse had one of his best games of the year, and was named Pitcher of the week above for this appearance.
  • Joan Gregorio made his return, going a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. The 26-year old pitcher had a 12.00 ERA in four games as a reliever in Sacramento before he went out on the DL on April 20th of this year.

Arizona Orange Order

Game 1

Game 2

  • Leadoff hitter Yorlis Rodriguez led the Game 1 squad, going 3-for-4 with his 2nd home run of the year.
  • Fabian Pena, playing the DH in Game 1, also got his second home run of the year. Pena is batting .353 over his last ten games played, but is also having problems getting consistent playing time.
  • Anyesbar Silva led the Game 2 performance, with his 11th double of the yar.
  • A combination pitched Game 1, with 9th round pick Ben Madison going just two innings, allowing two unearned runs. He hasn’t allowed any earned runs in his last four starts.
  • Marco Gonzalez, starting game two, gave up three earned runs, but it’s still high lowest total of the season in his last five.

Dominican Beach

  • This game was completed after seven innings due to rain.
  • Ghordy Santos had a 2-hit game, his first in his last nine games played. He’s been 8-for-30 (.267) over those nine games, but that’s raised his batting average from .188 to .204.
  • Sonny Vargas took the start, with six shutout innings and just three hits allowed. Vargas now has 40 strikeouts in 47.2 IP, and just 14 walks.

The Wrap-Up:

Playing Baseball in the Minor Leagues might be pretty well encapsulated by this tweet.

Shoutout to the fans who were still there!